Soft drinks are one of the most frequently purchased items by children aged between 7 and 15 years old, according to new data released by the Office for National Statistics.
The research, which has been published by the ONS as part of its Family spending in the UK report, revealed that over 56% of children in this age group bought at least one soft drink within a two-week period, with the average weekly child spend on soft drinks at £0.90.
Children more likely to buy soft drinks when they get older
Children aged between 7 and 15 years old were asked to keep a diary of their spending during a two-week period. The resulting data showed that children were more likely to buy soft drinks as they got older, with 75% of 13 to 15-year-olds purchasing at least one soft drink during a two week period, compared to 58% of those aged 10 to 12 years old and only 38% of 7 to 9-year-olds.
Younger age group more likely to buy from games, toys and hobbies category
However, the younger age group bought items that fell into the “games, toys and hobbies” category more frequently than older children, with 27% of children aged between 7 and 9 years old buying at least one of these items in a two week period, compared to 14% of 10 to 12 year olds and only 5% of 13 to 15 year olds.
15-year-olds spent on average three times more than 7-year-olds
The research also revealed that while the average spend for children aged between 7 and 15 years old was £12.40 a week, 15 years olds spent on average £25 per week, three times more than 7-year-olds.
13 to 15-year-old girls spent an average of £2.80 per week more
Additionally, while 7 to 9-year-old boys spent on average £1 per week more than girls of the same age, girls aged between 10 to 12 years old spent on average £0.75 more than boys in that age group.
The gap widens further between the 13 to 15-year-olds, where girls of this age spent an average of £2.80 per week more than their male counterparts.
Notable differences between boys and girls spending
Items which had “notable differences” between boys and girls, included toiletries and cosmetics (only 2% of boys aged 7 to 15 years old bought at least one of these items in a two week period, compared to 17% of girls) and books, where it was discovered that the average weekly spend for girls aged between 7 and 15 years old, was nearly double that of boys of the same age.
It was also found that boys spent over 10 times more (£1.10 compared to £0.10) on computer games and software than girls did.